Red Lion Fish Koh Tao
Learn about the Red Lion Fish on Koh Tao
Red Lionfish are considered to be one of the most adaptable fish in the Ocean and worldwide in areas such as the Great Barrier Reef they are actively hunted in a bid to reduce their ever-rising population.
As the Red Lionfish has very few natural predators, over time they can decimate the population of a fish species on a Coral reef.
Red Lionfish are not as abundant around Koh Tao and they are often seen by scuba divers at various dive sites.
Where to find the Red Lion Fish on Koh Tao
Red Lionfish can be found at Chumphon Pinnacle, HTMS Sattakut and Junkyard Reef dive sites and even at locations such as Aow Leuk and Green Rock, although not as common.
How to identify the Red Lion Fish?
A fully grown Red Lion Fish stands out all by itself and can reach up to thirty centimetres (30cm) in length.
Red Lion Fish often resemble a ballerina with their poise and movement and they are a maroon color with white bands that cover their entire body.
The most noticeable characteristic about them is they can have up to eighteen (18) huge fan-shaped pectoral fins, which are separated with dorsal spines.
Venomous Dorsal Spines
These dorsal spines are venomous and are used only for self-defence and not for hunting purposes.
Red Lion Fish are known to eat almost anything they can fit in their mouths and will often target fish that are one third of their own body size.
They can expand their stomach up to thirty (30) times its normal volume and will swallow its prey in one bite.
Red Lion Fish Characteristics & Behaviour
Red Lion Fish are considered to be one of the most invasive species in our oceans and account for 93% of the invasive population worldwide.
They are a highly adaptable species of fish and can survive extreme temperature change, which means they can inhabit most of the oceans worldwide.
Red Lion Fish have been seen as deep as three-hundred metres (300m), which adds to their extreme survival skills and resilience.
Natural predators of the Red Lion Fish are thought to be Sharks, Eels, Groupers and large Snapper.
Red Lion Fish have also demonstrated resilience when a food source is scarce and they can last three (3) months without any
form of food and only lose ten percent (10%) of their body mass.
Recent studies have also shown they can have a cannibalistic tendency and turn on each other if they need to and eat smaller fish of their own species.
Interesting facts about the Common Lion Fish
A single female Red Lion Fish can release as many as 30,000 eggs every few days all year and the eggs are released in an egg sac that is covered in its own chemical defence system to deter nearby predators.
A female Red Lion Fish can potentially release up to two million (2,000,000) eggs in a single year.